'Unnecessary disgrace': Sydney under fire in Melbourne Cup furore

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Joshua Parr, pictured here riding On The Lead to win race 8 on Golden Eagle Day at Rosehill.
Joshua Parr rides On The Lead to win race 8 on Golden Eagle Day at Rosehill Gardens. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Leading race caller Darren Flindell has ignited an ugly war of words between Sydney and Melbourne ahead of the Melbourne Cup.

According to punters.com, Flindell took to Twitter on Monday morning to blast the "unnecessary disgrace" that was the finishing time of Sydney’s Golden Eagle meeting on Saturday.

The meeting at Rosehill finished well after 6pm, with the final race being run after 6.45pm.

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In a since-deleted tweet, Flindell appeared to suggest the race times were pushed back in an attempt to steal the limelight off the Melbourne Cup barrier draw taking place at Flemington.

“6.48pm finish at Rosehill on Saturday in darkness was an unnecessary disgrace in another attempt to disrupt the Melbourne carnival,” Flindell allegedly tweeted.

The previous two Saturday meetings, including the Everest in Sydney, were finished by 6.10pm.

Sydney and Melbourne have a fierce rivalry when it comes to horse racing, and Flindell appeared to think the feud had reared its head again on Saturday.

His tweet was reportedly deleted later on Monday after being liked about 600 times.

Darren Flindell, pictured here at Sha Tin racecourse in 2015.
Darren Flindell at Sha Tin racecourse in 2015. (Photo by Kenneth Chan/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

Future Score scratched from Melbourne Cup on race morning

There was further drama on Tuesday morning when Irish horse Future Score was a late scratching.

Two horses had to be vetted before Tuesday morning's scratching deadline, with Delphi and Future Score both under fitness clouds.

Delphi was given the all-clear on Tuesday morning, however Future Score was scratched just one minute before the deadline.

The Matt Cumani-trainer horse was withdrawn after being re-examined by vets after the seven-year-old was found to have lameness in his off fore leg.

Cumani said he thought Future Score was fit to race.

"Just very sad for the owners of the horse, we thought he was a better chance than 200-1, he was really peaking for this week," Cumani said.

Fred W Kersley, pictured here riding Future Score in the Cranbourne Cup in 2020.
Fred W Kersley aboard Future Score in the Cranbourne Cup in 2020. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

“I think there’s a lot of pressure on Racing Victoria to be ultra, ultra conservative. And for them it was a real margin call, it went down to 7.29am to make the decision.

“They decided to be ultra-cautious. I can understand their point of view when they don’t know a horse inside out.

"For me and my vet, who know him inside out, and know he presented in the same way going into the Cranbourne Cup, which he won convincingly, it’s a bit frustrating.

“He is a horse that’s consistent in his action and has been racing with that action for the past year and a half.

“Look, he was a 200-1 shot, but he was absolutely flying, he was peaking for this performance.”

Incentivise will carry the weight of expectation for an Australian victory as an easing but pronounced favourite to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.

On the line will be a winning streak that began nine starts ago under part-owner and former trainer Steve Tregea - as well as bragging rights over the internationals.

Incentivise has been a clear-cut favourite since winning last month's Caulfield Cup with an exhibition of staying power few Australian-bred horses can claim.

with AAP

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